Antimicrobial Textiles and its Applications in Skin Care, and Space Stations


Antimicrobial textiles are nothing but fiber substrates to which antimicrobial agents are applied. These fibers are trusted to boost the lifespan and performance of consumer products. Increase in demand for antimicrobial sports wears and awareness regarding health and hygiene are factors adding to the market growth. As the healthcare sector in developing regions is anticipated to offer lucrative opportunities for industry participants of the antimicrobial textile market, the market has hopes to witness a positive growth graph in the post-covid world.

antimicrobial-textilesTalking about the growth and expected market worth of antimicrobial textiles, a research report published by Allied Market Research talks about the anticipated market growth across the world. As per the report, the global antimicrobial textiles market is expected to garner $18.2 billion by 2027, witnessing a CAGR of 7.4% from 2020 to 2027.

The antimicrobial textiles market is driven by many trends such as research and development, integration of innovative technologies, extended use cases in different sectors such as skincare, use during stays in space, and others.

Clean clothes for space travellers:

Food, clothing, and shelter are three important needs of human lives. And when it comes to living in space, not all these basic needs are met properly. There is a scope for innovation and research. For astronauts, the issue of clean undergarments becomes particularly significant. There is no facility for washing clothes on space stations, and luggage weight restrictions make it hard to carry many clothes.

The European Space Agency recently released a press release stating that it is looking into the best ways of keeping undergarments clean and hygienic as human beings step on the moon and beyond. The space agency is collaborating with Vienna Textile Lab for this initiative.

The press release stated that the first garment spacewalkers wear is a (disposable) maximum absorbency diaper, then a thermal comfort undergarment followed by Liquid Cooling and Ventilation Garment (LCVG). But the LCVG is reused with the spacesuits. Keeping in mind the long-term use, the ESA has started a new project called BACTeRMA or “Biocidal Advanced Coating Technology for Reducing Microbial Activity”.

The standard way of stopping biological contamination is using antimicrobial materials. However, its long-term use in space can cause skin irritation. Hence, ESA along with the Vienna Textile Lab are modifying antimicrobial textile materials. The team has exclusive access to a unique bacteriographic collection. Those microorganisms produce secondary metabolites. These compounds exhibit versatile properties that can help in producing textiles to be worn for a longer duration.

Producing a cotton fabric that absorbs air pollutants:

Efforts are being made across the globe to reduce air pollution and stay safe from harmful air pollutants. Researchers at the IIT Delhi have created an improved cotton fabric that is able to adsorb harmful air pollutants.

These cotton types are Zeolite Imidazolate Framework (ZIF)-modified and functionalized to adsorb high levels of organic air pollutants such as aniline and benzene from the air.

As per the research team, air pollution caused due to the increasing levels of nitrous oxides, particulate matter, carbon oxides, and other toxic compounds is a major concern. The ZIF functionalized textiles have a huge potential to be used as protective garments. A research scholar of IIT Delhi, Mr. Hardeep Singh, who conducted detailed experiments to create these fabrics stated that porous materials such as zeolites and Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) can adsorb VOCs from the air. These MOFs are used to develop textiles that have antimicrobial, fuel filtering, and UV radiation absorbing properties.

Antimicrobial textile for skincare:

All too often, skincare routines focus mainly on aesthetic goals such as smoothing dry patches and fighting acne, to name a few. Skincare includes not only using the right product but also taking care of sanitation. Market players operating in the skincare sector understand this very well. As a result, different innovations are made and products are invented. Antimicrobial towels have emerged as the answer. Skincare experts and beauticians prefer these towels over the regular textile. Even home décor experts recommend using antimicrobial mats for decoration in order to ensure the utmost hygiene.

Gatherings and seminar:

One of the best ways of boosting market growth and bringing innovative items to the market is to gather and work unitedly. The 2021 edition of Techtextil North America took place recently in North Carolina to reunite the industry. The meeting took place in person. Overcoming obstacles such as the re-emergence of COVID-19 the Techtextil North America 2021 enjoyed strong attendance.

Decision-makers from all of the major industries that deal in technical textiles and nonwovens were present at the event.

The visitors included top industry executives, buyers, engineers, and technical directors. The event allowed undergraduate research students and Master’s or Ph.D. from the top textile engineering colleges to share their research findings with potential. The Academy combined the formerly called Tech Talks and The Lab for free show floor education.

The event exhibited the latest scientific developments in technical textiles and nonwovens. Sessions covering trending topics such as antiviral and antimicrobial textiles and textile treatments were high in demand. This showed the importance of antimicrobial textiles in the future world and how researchers and businesses are taking this technology seriously.

These latest happenings in the global antimicrobial textile market are enough to prove that the future of textile belongs to many new-age technologies and materials.